November 24, 2014

Florida: Miami-Dade Commission Vote for Slight Property-Tax Rate Hike to Help Libraries

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UPDATE July 26 Miami-Dade mayor lets higher library tax stand (via Miami Herald)

From the MH Post:

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez won’t veto a higher property tax rate ceiling for libraries set by county commissioners.

Mike Hernández, Gimenez’s spokesman, said Friday that the mayor decided to let the commission’s 8-5 vote from last week stand, even though that means the county’s overall tax rate could go against Gimenez’s wishes.

“He will continue to insist that Miami-Dade County government — and our library system — operate as efficiently as possible,” Hernández said.

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From the Miami Herald:

Miami-Dade County commissioners voted Tuesday night to slightly raise the property-tax rate ceiling to avert library layoffs. But the increase won’t protect police, transit and other public services facing budget cuts.

[Clip]

Patricia Gormley, a lawyer and leading organizer of a library-funding campaign, greeted the vote with a mixed verdict.

“We are obviously happy that nobody [in libraries] will be laid off,” said Gormley, whose husband works in the library system. “But the ability to provide enhanced services at the library is still limited. All we did is save the jobs.”

[Clip]

Libraries aside, commissioners adopted the other tax rates proposed by Mayor Carlos Gimenez, which had been designed to keep the overall rate flat while giving a funding boost to libraries. Now Gimenez will have to decide whether to veto the commission’s 8-5 decision to boost the library tax higher than he recommended.

[Clip]

Fear of cuts drew more than 100 people to county hall who urged commissioners for more than three hours to raise the tax rate — called the “millage” — despite Gimenez’s potential veto.

“Please raise my millage,” said Justin Wales, a recent homebuyer advocating for more library funds. “I want to pay more money.”

Speaker after speaker praised the library system as a haven for children, seniors and the unemployed, who rely on librarian assistance to write résumés and apply for new jobs.

Librarian Ellen Book brought a cart full of children’s books for the 13 commissioners. “The age of the physical book is far from over,” Book said as commissioners perused the offerings, including pop-up books on baby dinosaurs and race cars.

Without the higher library rate, Gimenez’s budget would have eliminated 90 library positions..

Read the Complete Article

See Also: The EveryLibrary Blog Has an Excellent Roundup and Reaction

See Also: Reaction and Comment From Community Advocates for Libraries in Miami (CALM)

share save 171 16 Florida: Miami Dade Commission Vote for Slight Property Tax Rate Hike to Help Libraries
Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.